Welcome to CAMRA West Kent
This website is for CAMRA members that have an interest in the West Kent Branch. The branch area includes the towns of Edenbridge, Sevenoaks, Tonbridge, Tunbridge Wells and Westerham.
The easiest way to help CAMRA West Kent?
The number 1, easiest, but most important thing that CAMRA members can do to help any branch is to enter pub and beer scores via WhatPub. If you enter scores for pubs that you try they will get fed back to the relevant branch, and will be used for deciding which pubs go in the Good Beer Guide. The menu on the left contains a guide to Beer Scoring, or follow the WhatPub link above to go direct.
The Festive Season Approaches
With Christmas just around the corner now is the time to think about stocking up your cellar as well as filling those Christmas stockings. Our local breweries – Larkins, Pig & Porter, Tonbridge and Westerham – offer a range of their beers direct from the brewery to cater for your festive celebrations. Available quantities include firkins (72 pints), pins (36 pints), mini pins (18 pints), mini casks (5 litres) and individual bottles. Below is a summary of what each has to offer together with contact details for further information and how to order.
Larkins Supplying firkins and polypins. For polypins please give a week’s notice. Bright Trad always available. Live anything else particularly mini pins. As much notice as possible… Orders must be placed by phone. Larkins Farm, Hamkins Hill Rd, Chiddingstone, TN8 7BB www.larkinsbrewery.co.uk email: firstname.lastname@example.org tel: 01892 870328
Pig & Porter Unit 18h, Chapman Way, Tunbridge Wells, TN2 3EF www.pigandporter.co.uk email: email@example.com tel: 01424 893519
Tonbridge Supplying firkins, pins and a comprehensive range of mini casks. 19 Branbridges Ind Estate, East Peckham, TN12 5HF www.tonbridgebrewery.co.uk email: firstname.lastname@example.org tel: 01622 871239
Westerham Supplying firkins, polypins, mini pins, a good range of mini casks and bottles. Please note the brewery is in the process of moving so check with them for the latest news. The new Tap Room & Shop has a soft opening on Thursday 8 December. Minicasks, bottles, wine, gifts, Christmas gift hampers, etc. Full opening of the Gallery in the new brewery will be in early Spring. Tasting events at the new brewery will commence in the Spring with monthly open events and private tours. Grange Farm, Pootings Rd, Crockham Hill, TN8 6SA www.westerhambrewery.co.uk email: email@example.com tel: 01732 864427
So rather than buy standard bottles and cans stocked by the big supermarkets why not seek out the tasty local alternatives and support your local brewers in the process?
Wishing you all a very enjoyable time.
West Kent CAMRA
6th SPA Valley Railway Beer & Cider Festival
This years festival was a great success, thanks to everybody that volunteered, and all those that visited.
A message from Keith Ennis and the branch to our volunteers.
Dear Spa Valley Railway Beer and Cider Festival Volunteer
I think we have all had time to catch our breath and reflect upon last weekends successful Festival. Firstly, I would like to thank all of you for the hard work you put in to serve an estimated 11,000 pints of beer and cider. As staffing officer, I must thank all of you for your willingness to do whatever was asked of you, or for just seeing jobs that needed doing, and getting on with them. All of this made my job a lot easier.
The result of the Beer of the Festival Competition, voted for by the public was as follows:
- Gold Kew Brewery – Nightshade
- Joint Silver Downlands Brewery – Red October
- Joint Silver By the Horns Brewery – Old Smoke Tea Bitter
We hope to arrange a visit Kew Brewery to present the award.
There were not enough votes for cider to have a meaningful result.
In the Green Hop Competition, held prior to the Festival opening, the results were:
- Gold Old Dairy Brewery – Bullion Single Hop
- Silver Goody Ales – Green Hop Genesis
- Bronze Westerham Brewery – Scotney Green Hop
On 8 November the organising committee are meeting to review the Festival. If you have any comments or suggestions on how the Festival is run, positive or negative, I would welcome them to feed into the meeting. Please let me have your views in the coming week.
Finally, we hope to be running the Festival next year and that you will be able to come back and help us again. We are always looking for capable people to join the committee to help organise the Festival. If you feel you can help us, please let me know.
Spa Valley Beer and Cider Festival Staffing Officer
West Kent CAMRA Cider Officer
Urgent news. The branch has just become aware that the Golding Hop Plaxtol might not be reopening after Eddies retirement. We had been under the impression that new tenants were going to reopen the pub, but now believe it might be turned in to a coffee shop. The loss of the Golding Hop will be a severe loss to the village and surrounding area, we are currently looking in to registering the pub as an Asset of Community Value (ACV). If anybody has information on the history of the pub, and its role in the community can they please contact us. EMAIL
Urgent news. The Greyhound Charcott is once again under threat. Locals are applying to make the poub ACV, we would appreciate any supporters to support the ACV when they visit the pub.
Urgent news. The Nelson Arms in Tonbridge is under threat, an ACV is also in the works and needs support.
The Greyhound, Charcott – no longer opens lunchtimes Monday to Thursday
Fuggles – will be opening a bar in Tonbridge in early spring 2017
The Pantiles Tap has been voted West Kent CAMRA Cider Pub of the Year (COTY).
Keith Ennis (WKCAMRA cider boffin, click his name for his twitter account) presenting the certificate
CAMRA West Kent Facebook
Next Branch Socials / Business Meetings
The Annual General Meeting
The West Kent Branch of
To be held at
The Constitutional Club
1 Sandrock Road
Tunbridge Wells TN2 3PX
Saturday December 3rd 2016 2pm
Letter from the Chairman
Another great year for our Branch, our membership is at record numbers and our beer festival held in association with the Spa Valley Railway has grown over its 6 years from humble beginnings when we stocked 30 casks to the 130 we now stock. For every festival I have had the honour of being the Festival Organiser and since November 2009 I have been Chairman of West Kent CAMRA. Unfortunately, due to ill-health I am compelled to stand down from both roles and will not be putting myself forward for re-election. This is a great opportunity for the Branch to grow under a new leadership with fresh ideas and a different approach, a challenge I am sure our members are more than capable of rising to.
The branch has a number of vacancies that can be filled by people who wish to take a more active part in our activities. For example, we need a What Pub? Co-ordinator to assist our Pubs Officer keep our online pub listings up-to-date. A full list of roles available can be found on https://members.camra.org.uk/group/guest/get-involved. These roles are very rewarding and you get help and assistance from fellow committee members and the national CAMRA organisation.
If you are unable to help in this way you can make a valuable contribution with the selection of the Good Beer Guide entries for 2018 and our branch pub of the year competition by completing the National Beer Scores survey every time you visit a pub by using the CAMRA What Pub? application which is very straightforward. Your votes count. Also please complete and return the nomination forms that are part of this invitation by the 28th November or send us an email.
• 3rd Branch Annual General Meeting, 2pm, Tunbridge Wells Constitutional Club, 1 Sandrock Road, Tunbridge Wells. CAMRA members only, free buffet. Followed at 3.30pm by Good Beer Guide 2018 Nominations Meeting and branch Pub of the Year shortlist meeting. Then followed by pub crawl
• 11th – Christmas meal at the Brecknock Arms, Bells Yew Green, accessed by train from Sevenoaks, Hildenborough, Tonbridge, High Brooms and Tunbridge Wells
• 14th Visit to the Greyhound at Charcott now being run by Larkins (for the time being –the Greyhound could be at risk) followed by the Little Brown Jug. Trains from Tonbridge at 7.13pm and 8.13pm. Return trains from Penshurst at 9.14pm, 10.17pm and 11.20pm. Note there is scheduled strike action for the line the previous week
- 7th Social visit to Edenbridge for the Old Eden arriving at 12.30 and then on to the King & Queen. Travelling by Metrobus 231 from Tunbridge Wells War Memorial at 11.40am. Then 15.45pm bus back to stop at the Four Elms. Take the last 233 bus back at 16.57 to Tunbridge Wells
- 9th Branch business meeting at the Primrose, 112 Pembury Rd, Tonbridge, 8pm. Please note change of venue since previous info
- 28th Inter-branch social with Sussex/Surrey branches for the Coopers Arms, Coopers Ln, Crowborough. Dark and Delicious winter beers festival. Take Brighton & Hove bus 29 11.53am from Tunbridge Wells rail station or slightly earlier in the town centre
Events, Beer Festivals, etc.
- 8th Dec – The King William IV, Pembury – Pig & Porter Brewery Tap Takeover & Meet the Brewer with Robin & Sean from 6pm. Pizzas available with a free Moretti
- 10th Dec – Bromley CAMRA Branch will be visiting Shoreham in our branch for a social starting at the Crown, 84 High St, TN14 7TJ from about 12.15 and moving on to the other 3 pubs in turn. Our members and friends are cordially invited to join them. More details available by request
- 13th, 14th & 15th Dec – Westerham Brewery Christmas Open Evenings SOLD OUT
- 14th Dec – The Stag, Maidstone Meet the Brewer Evening with Whitstable Brewery, selection of their ales starting from £2.30 a pint
- 14th Jan – Bromley CAMRA Branch will be visiting Tunbridge Wells for a social starting at the Ragged Trousers, 44 The Pantiles, TN2 5TN from about 12.25 and moving on to several other pubs in the town. Our members and friends are cordially invited to join them. More details available by request
- 21st Jan – Greyhound, Charcott – Larkins Leaving Party with live music from the Elderly Brothers. The pub will then close unless a purchaser materialises so enjoy it while you can
- 28th – 29th Jan – Cooper’s Arms, Crowborough Winter Ales Beer Festival. NE Sussex branch will be visiting on 28th and hope to see our branch members there
- 3rd – 4th Feb – Tonbridge Juddians Rugby Club indoor Winter Beer Festival 25+ beers
Kent CAMRA Website goes live
Kent CAMRA has launched it own website, this gives extra info on the Kent area and includes information on cider and brewery’s. It also provides links to all the local CAMRA websites
New CAMRA members site launched
Protecting your local pub by nominating them as Assets of Community Value
Through the Localism Act, the Government has introduced new powers for communities in England to nominate valued facilities such as pubs as “assets of community value”. Where pubs are listed this enables communities to “stop the clock” for up to six months if they’re put up for sale to consider options for saving the pub. With 18 pubs closing every week we need CAMRA members and branches to get involved in listing pubs before more of them are lost. So far two pubs in the branch have received this protection (both called the Royal Oak, one in Tunbridge Wells, one in Pembury). For a more in depth explanation of the what, why, and where please follow this LINK, which also contains an information leaflet.